Written by Anita Kozakewicz

The Civic Engagement Interest Group was started last fall to provide Osher members opportunities to enhance their service activities. Meetings are on the third Wednesday of the month, 1:00–3:00 p.m., in the Westhampton Center Living Room. 

This interest group is currently focused on two initiatives: grandparents raising grandkids and helping inner-city children make informed career choices.  The group is seeking Osher members who may be willing to give a few hours to help with either initiative.

Grandparents raising grandkids is a unique and often neglected issue. These seniors are usually unprepared for the extremely stressful situation in which they find themselves. Their social, legal and financial concerns are much different than those of conventional parents. They find that connecting with natural support groups is difficult, given that most parents are much younger, and other seniors are no longer interested in the responsibilities of parenting. The goal of the initiative is to supplement existing support groups by providing a speaker to cover a topic of interest to the grandparents.  These talks will be scheduled every other month, beginning September 2014. Osher volunteers are needed who can speak on topics such as guardian and custody issues, handling discipline problems, college financial planning, estate planning, and filling out college applications online.

The program to help children think critically about what they want to be when they grow up will target middle school students. They will soon have to make choices about high school, often a decision that will affect their career options. The program will address topics on money, careers, and character. It will incorporate the traits that most successful people have in common, including a strong work ethic, persistence, knowledge, and integrity. In addition, we are looking for volunteers to share the why, how, and what of their professions.

If you have an interest in helping with either program or would like more information, please contact Dave Frimpter at oshercivicengagement@gmail.com.